Looking for the latest data on short-term rental license applications? Use our new Airbnb tracker.
New Orleans’ experiment in legalized, short-term rentals begins next month.
This week, the city started accepting applications from residents who want to rent their houses and apartments through Airbnb and similar services.
For the next couple of weeks, The Lens will map these applications. We’ll update it periodically.
Applications received as of March 17: 232
The 232 applications received so far are far less than the 4,500 Airbnb listings in the city logged by the tracking site Inside Airbnb. (It doesn’t track other popular platforms such as VRBO or Craigslist.)
But there are still two weeks before the city starts enforcing its new ordinance regulating short-term rentals.
City spokeswoman Erin Burns said it’s “premature and speculative” to assess the number of applicants at this point.
“The City expects to receive the bulk of it applications in the month of April when Airbnb provides the list of registrants from their pass-through registration system,” she wrote in an email to The Lens, referring to Airbnb’s agreement to allow its users to submit license applications through its site.
As of Friday morning, the city hadn’t approved any of these applications.
Last year, the city council approved what has been called a model for municipal regulation of short-term rental services. For years, rentals of fewer than 30 days have been illegal in most of the city (60 days in the French Quarter).
Starting April 1, short-term rentals are legal throughout the city, except in most of the Quarter. The law places a 90-day annual limit on rentals of entire houses or apartments in residential neighborhoods. There is no annual limit on half-doubles, spare rooms and properties in non-residential neighborhoods.
Annual licenses range from $50 for up to 90 days to $500 for a commercial license, which is only available in non-residential areas.
The ordinance came after the market for short-term rentals exploded in the city. Last year, The Lens even identified a handful of listings in buildings that were built or renovated with government subsidies for affordable housing.
Proponents of short-term rentals, such as the Alliance for Neighborhood Prosperity, argue that vacation rentals generate extra income that helps residents afford rent, property taxes and insurance.
Opponents argue that the use of private houses for tourism has contributed to rising rents and displaced residents.
The city has rarely enforced its ban on short-term rentals. City officials have said the fees collected for licenses will be used to enforce the new rules.
Photos, which come from the Orleans Parish Assessor’s Office, aren’t available for all properties.
This story was updated after publication to reflect the applications received as of March 17, 2017.